No woman, no drive

Late last month a handful of Saudi women took to their cars to protest the kingdom's ridiculous ban on women driving. As I argue in a column for the New York Times' Latitude blog, the ban is a cornerstone of the country's gender segregation system (in a country that has been built around the automobile, it reduces women's mobility to nil), which in turn is a foundation of the religious establishment's authority -- over both women and men. That's also why Saudi men's support for this challenge is necessary and promising. 

I fantasize of a campaign to pressure US automakers to boycott the Saudi market (the industry's second-largest foreign market) until women there are allowed out of the back seat. 

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Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.